The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program was designed for families who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid to receive low-cost health insurance coverage for their children. In certain states, CHIP even covers women who are pregnant. If a family qualifies for CHIP benefits, they may be required to pay a copay out of pocket or a monthly premium, but Healthcare.gov states that they won’t have to pay more than 5% of their family’s income for the year. With insurance costs sky high, the CHIP program allows families who meet certain criteria to be able to afford coverage for their children so they can receive the medical and dental care they require.
Unfortunately, with President Trump more concerned with tax and immigration reform, it appears the funding for the CHIP program may soon come to an end which would leave 1.7 million kids without healthcare coverage. While the federal funding for CHIP expired back on September 30th, 2017, “Congress passed a continuing resolution in December that provided states with $2.85 billion” [Source: NBC News] But, that money will soon be gone along with the healthcare these kids were receiving. Those who are truly at risk right now are the families receiving the CHIP benefits from their state’s separate programs, not the CHIP-funded Medicaid. Those who receive funding or benefits through Medicaid won’t lose their insurance even if the CHIP funding does disappear.
Efforts have been made that would allow states to continue providing CHIP finding but the government has done little to support this.
The “KIDS Act of 2017” would have funded CHIP through 2022, however, that was “put on the back burner by congressional leadership in favor of tax reform and repealing the Affordable Care Act.” Come February 1st, many states including Florida, New York, Connecticut, Arizona, and even Louisiana might have to shut their programs down given they run out of money to continue funding the program. And where would that leave the millions of families who rely on this coverage? They would either be forced to purchase a policy through the healthcare marketplace or pay for care on an “as needed” basis.
With the government shutdown and attention being placed on other issues, it is unknown what will happen with the CHIP program. For now, things aren’t looking too good for these families who currently rely on it as states are coming close to spending that last bits of money they have left.
Right now, it is important that individuals receiving this healthcare coverage or are covered by a private policy receive the benefits they are entitled to and aren’t paying more out of pocket then necessary. If you are dealing with a health insurance-related issue, remember, you can always call Stanley Law at 1-800-608-3333 to speak with a New York insurance claims attorney. With insurance rates and medical costs as high as they are, you can’t risk having a health insurance claim denied, requiring you to pay out of pocket. Therefore, if you have an insurance question or are in need of legal advice, contact this firm today to get a consultation scheduled.